Over the past three years, the Indian Women’s Cricket Team has achieved a lot and come a long way. It has scaled new heights as well as shown lot of promise towards a bright future of Women’s cricket in India.
The Indian Women’s Cricket Team were the runner ups at the 50-over World Cup in 2017. They emerged runner ups at the T20 World Cup earlier this year as well. The team has seen a rise and substantial growth in the recent years, which is a very good sign as far as Indian Women’s Cricket is concerned.
However, all isn’t as good as it seems to be. The Indian Women’s Cricket Team stands in a phase of uncertainty at the moment. What are the issues of concern that can cause hindrance to the future of the team?
Indian Women’s Cricket Team tour of England cancelled
The Indian Women’s Cricket Team last played at the Women’s T20 World Cup in March. Ever since the pandemic hit the globe, all tours for the women’s team have been getting cancelled. The England tour in September is the latest addition to the list. The Board of Control for Cricket in India ( BCCI) has given no official reason for the cancellation. It is understood that the effect of the pandemic is the reason. This tour would have been a perfect opportunity to prepare for next year’s 50-over World Cup. The England Cricket Board (ECB) even offered to cover costs for India’s accommodation, travel, including charter flights if required. However, the tour has been cancelled.
Former captain and Apex Council member Shanta Rangaswamy has come out in support of the BCCI regarding this matter. She stated that it is ” not a case of neglect” as the BCCI did not have enough time to make arrangements. The same BCCI has been working head over heels, however, to make the IPL happen this year. And their efforts has yielded a result as the tournament will now be held in UAE in the month of September.
No Selection Committee
The Indian Women’s Cricket Team currently stands without a selection committee. The existing committee’s tenure ended earlier this year. There has been no provision made since then. After Saba Karim’s tenure as General Manager of Cricket Operations within the BCCI ended, there is no contact for women’s cricket in the BCCI. As per the board’s constitution, a three member CAC is in place, however, to pick the men’s national team.
Women’s T20 Challenge
The Women’s T20 challenge had been expanded to a four team tournament this year. However, the shifting of the IPL now clashes with the Women’s Big Bash League. Getting foreign players to play the Women’s T20 challenge becomes almost impossible in such a scenario. Given the tournament happens alongside the IPL, two tournaments cannot be simultaneously hosted in the UAE in the present time. Hence the tournament would stand cancelled this year with no alternate venue or provision.
The Indian Women’s Cricket Team is therefore facing uncertainty with no selectors in place, no tours lined up and no practise camps being put up. The team may not play until January next year which could affect game time practice preparation for the World Cup in February – March.
Whether the BCCI is being ignorant towards the women’s team or not is a question left open to be debated upon.
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